Blue Star

Wisdom Teeth
By: 
Scott Sullivan
Man has made great strides since Socrates was forced to drink hemlock in 399 B.C. For one, how we execute people publicly. After hemlock went out of fashion, we dabbled with stoning, flaying, crucifixion and dismemberment. Burning, beheading, firing squads and hanging all had their heydays. Now the most-civilized nations that still kill humans favor lethal injection with a barbiturate, paralytic and potassium solution. Wouldn’t hemlock be just as easy?

“True knowledge lies in knowing you know nothing,” said Socrates. OK, we don’t know that.

The quote, which in Greek may have sounded like “scio me nihil scire” and be better typed here using alphas and omegas, was derived from Plato’s writings about his mentor combined with other accounts of the answer Socrates got from the oracle of Delphi when asked, “Who is the wisest man in Greece?”

Socrates started all wisdom by wondering, thereby admitting his own ignorance. Screen cleared of preconceptions, he launched his inquiries. No wonder a jury convicted him of impieties. This gave rise to western thinking.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Feb. 12 Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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